Covering Chipboard Ring Binders for Scrapbooking

chipboard binder with fabric samples
Cover a chipboard binder with colorful fabric and paper.

Covering chipboard ring binders for scrapbooking is a great way to get that custom look that you want for scrapbook albums or scrapbook storage binders. It's also more affordable than buying expensive designer albums.

Instructions for Covering Chipboard Ring Binders for Scrapbooking

To make your own custom binders, you'll need the following supplies:

  • Chipboard binder with removable rings
  • Fabric cut to measure two inches longer and wider than your total scrapbook binder measurements when binder is closed (This allows for a one-inch margin to fold over inside of binder on all sides.)
  • Matching or coordinating fabric or scrapbook paper cut to fit inside the binder, minus a one-quarter inch margin on all sides where the fabric will show
  • Spray adhesive or your choice of permanent scrapbook glue or adhesive
  • Acid-free spray
  • Flat-head screwdriver to push fabric under binder rings or remove rings if needed
  • Needle or pin for poking small holes in air bubbles
  • Small, sharp scissors for snipping small sections from inside fabric corners
  • Clean plastic tarp or old sheet on which to place your binder while spraying with adhesive
  • Enough rick-rack, ribbon, or woven trim to cover the inside edges where your fabric and paper (or all fabric) covers meet with an extra half-inch to fold to the inside of the binder

When covering chipboard ring binders for scrapbooking, if possible begin by removing the metal piece that holds the rings. Some manufacturers, such as Avery and ReBinder, offer binders with readily removable rings. This allows you to cover your binders without having to work around the metal section.

  1. Spray the front of your binder evenly with adhesive spray and quickly position your fabric over the chipboard. Be sure to leave a half-inch overlap of fabric at the top, bottom and right side of the binder to fold over to the inside later on. Smooth any wrinkles or air bubbles as you go, poking with a needle or pin if necessary.
  2. Keep the binder closed while repeating the spray-and-adhere process with the back spine of the binder. Next, apply to the back of the binder, smoothing any wrinkles and air bubbles toward the outer edges as you go. Keep an even tension on the fabric. Do not stretch it, or it may shrink when the adhesive dries.
  3. Spray or brush adhesive on the edges of fabric that you fold over to the inside of the binder. Fold the fabric over the top, bottom and side edges of the binder first, leaving about an inch free on each side near the corners. If your fabric is thick or stiff, snip a few small cuts into each corner to help it fold neatly over the binder edges. If your binder does not have a removable ring section, you need to work your fabric under the metal with a flat screwdriver as you fold it over the top and bottom edges.
  4. Spray and fold one corner at a time before moving to the next. This will give you time to work each corner into flat, neat folds on the inside of the binder. Allow the fabric adhesive to dry completely for at least an hour before adding the inside paper or fabric cover to the binder.
  5. When the fabric feels dry to the touch and does not shift when gently pressed, you may begin covering the inside of the binder with paper or fabric. Simply spray the inside of the binder with adhesive, one side at a time, and then cover with paper or fabric in the same manner as the outside. If your binder rings are not removable, you need to work around them by cutting and tucking the fabric or paper to fit.
  6. Allow your adhesive to dry. Then, use hot glue or another strong, permanent adhesive to glue a strip of ribbon, rick-rack or other woven trim over the seam where your inner and outer covers meet on the inside of the binder. Again, do not pull the trim tightly since it may shrink when the adhesive is dry.
  7. If you removed the binder rings, carefully re-assemble your binder and enjoy!

Helpful Tips

These tips will help you create a beautiful binder:

  • Always use acid-free materials or Krylon's "Make it Acid Free" spray to ensure that any surface that comes into contact with your photos will not damage them over time.
  • By covering chipboard ring binders for scrapbooking with your leftover wallpaper, you can coordinate your scrapbooks beautifully with your room decor. Many wallpaper manufacturers offer multiple prints and stripes in harmonizing colors and styles that complement each other perfectly, so look for these when choosing wallpaper.
  • Be sure your work area is well-ventilated when using spray adhesives or acid-free sprays.
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Covering Chipboard Ring Binders for Scrapbooking